PBS, Still Working for Obama—Update: Quote Added

At the American Thinker, Timothy Birdnow notes that PBS’s transcript of Obama’s jobs/NFL kickoff speech on Thursday doesn’t include the following mistake by the president:


The New York Times transcript has the following quote:

“We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union.  Founder of the Republican Party.  But in the middle of a civil war, he was also a leader who looked to the future — a Republican President who mobilized government to build the Transcontinental Railroad — (applause) — launch the National Academy of Sciences, set up the first land grant colleges.  (Applause.)  And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.”

But how does it appear in the PBS transcript?

“We all remember Abraham Lincoln as the leader who saved our Union.  But in the middle of a Civil War, he was also a leader who looked to the future – a Republican president who mobilized government to build the transcontinental railroad; launch the National Academy of Sciences; and set up the first land grant colleges.  And leaders of both parties have followed the example he set.”

So PBS has purposely altered a transcript containing a major gaffe by the President.

As Birdnow notes, “Lincoln did not join the Republicans until 1856, over two years after the party was founded. The first Republican convention was held in Ripon, Wisconsin in 1854.” Google were big Obama backers in 2008; perhaps wishing to minimize (I keed, I keed) the green company’s ginormous electric expenditures, the president unfortunately  didn’t take advantage of their primary service, a search engine.


Byron York emails Glenn Reynolds to note that, as the Professor puts it, PBS is “lazy, not dishonest.” They’re working from the prepared text that was given to the press before the speech; the Lincoln reference was an ad-lib by Obama (once again, when Obama goes off the ‘prompter and improvises, bad things happen). But:

On the other hand, reader Mike Macedonia writes: “PBS still has not fixed and the moderator is deleting comments about it.” They should really post a note; the page says it’s a “transcript,” not a “prepared text,” and there’s a difference. And if they’re deleting comments without posting an explanation, well, that’s tacky.

Hey, as PBS’s Tavis Smiley said shortly before Obama took office, “Harry Reid, put down the crack pipe. You don’t work for Barack Obama?  We’re all working for Barack Obama.”

While most of the rest of us have since moved on (not to mentioning thinking that the president worked for the American people, not the other way around), the legacy media keeps earning their pay.

Update: Some great catches by Ed Morrissey:

In yesterday’s OOTD, I noted that the President went off script to deliver a lecture on the origins of the Republican Party, only like so many lectures delivered by Barack Obama, it consisted of misinformation.  Don’t worry, though — the media is actually covering this gaffe.  For instance, Tom Maguire finds Time Magazine having to correct the record on Lincoln:

He gives a good speech, but he’s loose with the facts. He called Abraham Lincoln the “founder” of the Republican Party. Nope. Lincoln was not the founder of the party; he wasn’t even the first Republican nominee (John Fremont was, in 1856). Lincoln was, of course, the first Republican to be elected president.

Great work by Time, huh?  Only this piece wasn’t written this week.  It was written in September 2008, and fact-checked Mike Huckabee, not Barack Obama.  And guess who wrote this historical correction?  Time Magazine’s Jay Carney … who now works at Barack Obama’s press secretary.  They don’t talk to each other much in this White House, do they?


And as Ed adds regarding PBS, “Note well that PBS specifically calls this a ‘transcript,’ not the prepared text.  A ‘transcript’ is the verbatim rendering of what actually was said … or it should be, anyway.”

Update (8:30 AM PDT): As spotted by a Hot Air commenter about ten minutes ago, PBS quietly inserts the Lincoln gaffe back in, adding:

EDITOR’S NOTE: The original transcript provided on this page, as was noted, reflected the president’s remarks as prepared for delivery and released by the White House. This transcript has been updated to reflect the remarks as delivered and released by the White House.

Though no specific mention of what was updated. Compare this with the original, which Birdnow screencapped for a before and after:

Update: Welcome Hot Air readers; Ace adds an interesting conundrum for Time magazine:

Did Lincoln Sort of Found the GOP? Check out Tom Maguire’s update, noting Lincoln’s co-founding of the Illinois GOP party.

Of course, if he can be said to have founded the party, Time Magazine owes Mike Huckabee a very belated apology.

Maybe someone (paging Mr. Tapper) could ask Press Secretary Carney on Monday; it wouldn’t be first time 2008 has echoed badly for the administration in recent weeks.



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